Hello Everyone! Well… Today has been quite an eventful day! For my followers who do not know, today marks my quarter of a century years young! 25 years of achievements and failures has brought me to where I am today.
My colleagues surprised me with a cake earlier this afternoon – quite funny as the whole morning they kept telling me not to expect anything because they didn’t have a surprise for me, nor did they have cake. By afternoon, my Manager called me to their department, asking me to help her with a design that I had helped her with earlier in the afternoon. Being the gullible person that I am, I went up to her, and that’s when the rest started singing Happy Birthday and brought out the cake (mini tower of cream puffs). So I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the office who greeted me today – and for the surprise!
Round 2 of celebrations began earlier tonight as well, with my Mom, Sister, and my Godmother. We had Japanese for dinner and of course, the restaurant staff sang Happy Birthday to me as they brought out the cake that I had baked for myself for my birthday – which is tonight’s recipe! Original recipe can be found over on Dish.
Dense, rich and moist with a little hint of chilli and cinnamon – everything a great chocolate cake should be, and even more delicious when served with candid pepitas. — Claire Aldous.
PREP TIME 15 MINS| COOKING TIME 20-25 MINS| SERVES 10-12
For the cake:
200g Lindt Chilli Chocolate, roughly chopped
200g unsalted butter, cubed
2 large free range eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper (optional if you’d like a little more kick to your chilli chocolate cake)
For the glaze:
100g dark chocolate
100ml thickened cream
Preheat the oven to 170C (325F or gas mark 3).
Melt the butter and chocolate in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave at 30-second intervals and stirring until the butter and chocolate has melted. Once melted, stir in the sugar and vanilla extract, setting aside to cool for 10 minutes.
Once cooled, gradually stir in the eggs and then fold in the flour, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Pour into a buttered cake tin and smoothen the top.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the centre of the cake is set but not too firm. Once done, transfer to a rack and leave to cool completely in the tin.
While the cake is cooling down, get started on the glaze by melting the dark chocolate in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Do not let the base of the bowl touch the water. Once the chocolate has melted, slowly add in the cream, stirring gently. Remove from the heat.
Transfer the cake to a dish and pour the glass over. Finish with a light dust of confectioners’ sugar and enjoy with family and friends!
Hello Everyone! Before I begin with this post, I just want to say that I just realised that two Sunday’s ago was quite possibly the last Sunday that I had off and I probably won’t see another relaxed Sunday at home until the beginning of June. Yes, you read that right! Last Sunday I got up at the wee hours of 3:55am to get ready for work. WORK! Last Sunday we kicked off our month-long sporting event with a 2km and 10km Run that started at around 7am. Our team had to be there by 5am to help set up, prepare, and do a lot more things in order to ensure a smooth event. I was also event photographer that morning so I was constantly moving here and there for a good 5 hours. Though it wasn’t a whole day/night event, it was still tiring – I mean, getting up at 4 in the morning is tiring enough especially when I couldn’t sleep well the few hours before. Anyway, so this Friday will be another opening ceremony, this time for Badminton, and then on Sunday again for Basketball.
Besides my 7-day working months from now until June, I’m thrilled to say that my blog will be turning 2 years old on Saturday! I’ll be posting a recipe up on that day to celebrate 2 years of not giving up on this blog – which I believe is a first! I’ve started up many blogs before (but mainly diary-style) and so far I’ve been able to keep up with this one! I won’t say anymore and save the rest of my tangents for Saturday’s post. Anyway, it’s week 2 of delicious yummy roast chicken and I’ve got a classic recipe to share with you. To be honest, whenI first came across this recipe, I found it weird how it had a hint of ground cinnamon and turmeric in it which in my opinion dominated the honey flavour just a bit. I’ll admit that I much preferred the taste of last week’s roast, but this one is alright too. You can eat it with a whole load of roast veggies and fresh greens, or steamed rice. Don’t forget to check out the original recipe over on SBS.
PREP TIME 10 MINS*| COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 35 MINS| SERVES 6
*plus 4-6 hours of marination, or preferably overnight
2kg whole chicken, washed and cleaned thoroughly
8 tbsp honey
3 tbsp light soy sauce
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 & 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 & 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
Thumb-sized ginger, minced
Butter, for basting
Ground salt and black pepper, to taste
Assorted veggies, for roasting
Combine all the ingredients, except for the butter, in a large mixing bowl. Mix well until combined. Coat your chicken in the marinade and then leave in the fridge to marinate for about 4-6 hours (or preferably overnight). Remove chicken from the fridge 45-60 minutes before roasting to bring it back to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 230C (450F or gas mark 8). Line a baking tray with aluminium foil and place a rack above it.
Start by making a loop with the twine and fastening it around the stub of the neck. Bring it around the sides and tie a knot at the cavity, then pull it tight around the breast. Now, loop the twine around the drumsticks and tie another knot, tightening it until the legs cross.
Place the chicken on the rack and into the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. The lover the heat down to 175C (350F or gas mark 4) and continue roasting for an hour and 20 minutes more. Baste the chicken with a little bit of butter at every 20 minute intervals.
Once done, remove the oven and set aside to rest for about 10 minutes before serving with seasonal roast veggies, or steamed rice. Enjoy!
Hello Everyone! Oh my! I cannot believe that it’s the last week of October already! My has time gone by so quickly this past month. Anyway, it’s been a while since I last baked muffins for breakfast and only because the last time I made muffins was back in Sydney with my Muffin Making Monday partner Jialing. We made a pizza muffin together one afternoon at her place (the recipe isn’t up on my blog yet), and yes that was the last of our Muffin Making Monday days. Since I left Sydney, we’ve talked about how much we miss baking muffins together and even said that we should still continue it… Over Skype! I don’t know how that’s ever going to work anymore since we’re both independent working women with our busy schedules and time differences.
But anyway! I wasn’t aware that it was a Monday when I baked these babies; only Jialing reminded me of it when she asked me what I was doing that day and I said that I was going to bake some muffins. Today’s recipe can originally be found on All Recipes. The recipe says that it should make 12 muffins, but I ended up with 16, maybe I should’ve filled the muffin cups a bit more because some of them were a bit flat, and some had a nice rise to them. Also, since I ended up with 16 muffins, I ran out of crumbed topping so the muffins weren’t very covered with the brown sugar streusel. Anyway, I’ve edited the recipe a bit so that the proportions match up. These muffins are a little bit on the sweet side, so if you’re someone who doesn’t like sweet things for breakfast, then tune in on Thursday for a savoury brekky muffin 🙂 It involves chorizo and has a bit of a spicy kick to it!
PREP TIME 20 MINS| COOKING TIME 20 MINS| SERVES 16 MUFFINS
For the muffin batter
2 cups plain flour
3/4 cup white sugar
110g unsalted butter, softened
2 large apples, peeled and roughly chopped
2 large free range eggs
1 & 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
For the brown sugar streusel
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
20g unsalted butter
1 & 1/2 tbsp plain flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 190C (375F or gas mark 5). Line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper cases. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the plain flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and plain flour. Add the butter, and using your fingers, crumb the butter into the sugar mixture. Because Brunei is scorchingly hot, I needed to place the streusel in the freezer to stiffen up a bit.
Using an electric handheld mixer, beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and continue to beat until well combined. Add in the apples and stir using a rubber spatula. Gradually stir in the flour mixture.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling them up to about 3/4 of the way, and top with the brown sugar streusel.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Once down, remove from the oven and set aside to cool for about 5 minutes before removing them from the pan. Cool down completely on a wire rack and then they are ready to eat!
Muffins taste best on the same day, though they may be stored covered tightly at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days.
Hello Everyone! I’ve got another french toast recipe with a twist for you again today, but this time there will be no added milo to it. Instead we’re gonna crust our classic french toast with some cornflakes to give it that extra added crunch to an already soggy bread. I came across this idea a couple of months ago back in July when Symmetry Breakfast went viral. They posted a photo of some cornflake-crusted french toast and when I planned for Breakfast/Brunch Month for October, I knew I had to tackle a recipe for that!
I absolutely love their work! If you have been following my Instagram during that month, you would’ve seen that Jialing and I (and Edison) hopped on the #symmetrybreakfast bandwagon for the last remaining week that I was in Sydney. Actually, I might just share the photographs here since I don’t know if I will be posting them on the blog anytime other than now I guess (click on the individual images to view a larger version of them):
L-R: Homemade Charred Eggplant & Baby Octopus Shakshuka with Lebanese Bread; Blueberry & Passionfruit Cider |French Crêpes with a Honeyed Citrus Creamcheese Filling topped with a Mixed Berry Compte; Orange Sunrise Cocktail |Pea and Ham Soup with Stone-baked Pane di Casa and Strawberry & Lime Cider | Potato Hash Crusted Breakfast Quiche with Caramelised Onion, Chorizo, Spinach, and Sunnyside Up Egg with Mixed Leaf Salad and Garlic Butter Bread | Beer, Bacon, and Tater Soup (aka “Man Soup”) with Pane di Casa; Russian Earl Grey Tea | Fancy Filipino Hotsilog Brekky with Sweet Potato Hash Browns and Brekky Mocktails
I know, they’re not quite as symmetrical as the guys from Symmetry Breakfast (we tried to be creative with our symmetry/asymmetry lines), but it still gained a lot of views, likes (especially from Symmetry Breakfast), and new followers! Anyway, yes I realise that I have gone on a bit of a tangent, but I’m pretty sure you enjoyed those photographs (for those who have not seen them that is). So let’s get down to business shall we and get a move on to today’s recipe:
PREP TIME <5 MINS| COOKING TIME 8-12 MINS| SERVES 2-4*
*Depending if you want one or two slices of french toast per person; recipe is for 4 slices of bread
1 & 1/2 cups of cornflakes, crushed
4 thick slices of bread
1/2 cup milk
1 large free range egg
1 tbsp white sugar
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
Whisk the eggs together with the milk, sugar, spices, and vanilla extract in a bowl.
Dip both sides of a bread slice to soak up the wet mixture; do not soak it for too long. The dip the soaked sliced bread into the cornflake crumbs and coat.
Place the bread slice into the frying pan and cook until done, 2-3 minutes per side.
Once done, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up any excess oils. Repeat for the remaining bread slices.
Top with your favourite toppings, and/or serve with your choice of fruits for a fresh salad on the side. Enjoy!
Hello Everyone! So today’s recipe was made a while back, somewhere in November before I travelled to the Red Centre of Australia. The story goes back to my former housemate Lydia. Long story short, after having lunch together and going back to our rooms (or so I thought) I came back down to the kitchen and Lydia was STILL in the kitchen. She was flipping pancakes. I asked her how she was going with them, and she replied “not so good. I actually waited for you to go upstairs so you wouldn’t see my fail pancakes!”
If you’ve read my blog post from somewhere in September, you’d know that Lydia and pancakes do not go well together. Even when she tried to flip them the first time we made them together, life was just being too difficult for her – until we made these pancakes though! She flipped about 3 or even more pancakes successfully! And these pancakes aren’t considered easy for beginners like Lydia I would assume. I didn’t want to just make plain pancakes, we we stepped it up a notch and we (mainly I) decided to try out a recipe for Cinnamon Roll Pancakes.
The first pancake I attempted was a slight fail – I didn’t know when to pipe the cinnamon filling onto the pancake. What I did at first was basically wait for the pancake batter to start bubbling on the top and then pipe on the filling. Two things went wrong; firstly the filling was a bit firm so it wasn’t piping out in one smooth squeeze. The second thing, when I flipped the pancake, the filling just went everywhere. The first one was easy to resolve, we basically just let the filling out for a while until it started to soften a bit. The second took a little bit of thinking, but in the end we ended up piping the filling straightaway onto the pancake batter as it hit the pan. 100% success from then on!
Also, this recipe can originally be found on Vegan Yumminess – though I highly doubt that these pancakes that I’ve made are 100% vegan because of the choices of ingredients that I’ve used.
PREP TIME 10 MINS| COOKING TIME 45 MINS| MAKES 6-8 PANCAKES
For the pancake batter
40g unsalted butter, melted
1 & 1/2 cup plain flour
1 & 1/2 cup milk
3 tbsp palm sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp lemon juice
For the cinnamon filling
60g unsalted butter, slightly softened
5 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp plain flour
For the cream cheese glaze
100g cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
3 tbsp milk, plus more if needed
1 tbsp lemon juice
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 100C. Line a tray with baking paper.
Cinnamon Filling: Place all the ingredients into a zip-lock sandwich bag and seal closed. Knead the ingredients together with your hands until there are no big lumps or chunks of anything. Place the bag in the fridge for at least 10 minutes to allow the mixture to firm up a little bit. The consistency should be similar to that of toothpaste. When you are ready to draw swirls into your pancakes, cut about a 1/3-inch (.8cm) hole in one of the bottom corners of your sandwich bag.
Cream Cheese Glaze: In a medium-sized bowl beat the cream cheese using an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add the sugar and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Then add the salt, lemon juice, and milk; mixing on low speed until smooth. If the glaze is too thick to drizzle, add more milk, 1 tbsp at a time.
Pancake Batter: Add the dry ingredients into a large bowl and whisk to combine. Then add in the wet ingredients and whisk until smooth. Heat a nonstick pan on the stove on medium and once heated, turn the heat down to medium-low. Lightly butter the pan and pour about a 1/4 cup of batter. Immediately add your cinnamon filling by gently squeezing your sandwich bag in a circular motion around your pancake to form a swirl. Try not to get too close to the edge of your pancake.
When bubbles have formed towards the centre of your pancake (about 2-3 minutes), flip your pancake quickly in one continuous motion. When the pancake has cooked on the other side for a further 1-3 minutes, remove it from the pan and place on your prepare baking tray and place into the oven to keep warm while you work on the remaining pancake batter. Make sure to wipe your pan clean before starting your next pancake.
Stack your pancakes and drizzle with cream cheese glaze.
Hello Everyone! Sorry for not posting in a while, and I’m pretty sure my regular followers should know by now the reason for it. Just because I haven’t been uploading, doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped cooking and experimenting in the kitchen. I actually have three dishes that are waiting to be posted (basically I have the photos, I just haven’t had the time to do a write up). I know for sure that I have a handful of readers out there (or maybe just Vidhya), who actually like reading this part of the post. She was upset that the last post I made was short and had no back story. Well, I guess I won’t disappoint her here!
Anyway, today’s recipe is part of what I think will start becoming a regular thing, which is Muffin Making Monday’s (fortnightly) with Jialing. For those of you who don’t know Jialing (and basically haven’t read ANY of my previous posts because her name comes up almost ALL the time), she started this whole idea of making muffins on Monday’s because she wanted to be able to have a quick breakfast, be it at home or at the bus stop, or even at work. Since she doesn’t have an oven at home, she asked if she could bake at my place. That’s when I thought, what a great idea for breakfast on the go, because as you may/may not know, I am pretty bad at breakfast – meaning that I just altogether skip breakfast and go straight to brunch/lunch. Also, I wasn’t just going to sit around and watch her bake muffins, so I decided to bake a batch myself.
Two weeks ago I made a batch of savoury muffins with Prosciutto & Chives, while Jialing made a sweet batch with Apple, Pear, and Sultanas. Yesterday we unintentionally switched and this time I made a batch of sweet muffins with Banana & Cinnamon Crumb Top, while Jialing made a batch with Turkey, Pesto, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Cheese. I followed a recipe from allrecipes, and I think I might recommend adding a little less salt than said because I found my muffins just a tad salty. Who doesn’t? Otherwise, the result was amazing! Tasted really good, especially the crumb topping! Which also reminds me, I added a tad more cinnamon because I LOVE cinnamon. I didn’t realise how much these muffins were going to rise – I didn’t even peak through the oven door while they were cooking because I was busy washing up all the bowls and utensils that Jialing and I used. So to my surprise, when my timer rang and I looked at them I said out loud and in a shocking tone “OH MY GOD! THEY ARE SO FAT!” It was pretty hilarious, and priceless might I add.
PREP TIME 5 MINS| COOKING TIME 18-20 MINS| MAKES 12 MUFFINS
For the muffin batter
3 large bananas, mashed (plus one extra banana, sliced)
1 & 1/2 cups plain flour
1egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cupwhite sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tspbaking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
For the crumb topping
30g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1/3 cuppacked brown sugar
2 tbsp plain flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 190C. Lightly grease a muffin tray, or line with muffin paper cups.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, beat together the bananas, sugar, egg, and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture until moistened. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, about 2/3 of the way full.
In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Add the cubed butter and using your finger tips, quickly mix the ingredients together until looks like rough bread crumbs. If your mixture is too warm, put the bowl into the refrigerator for 15 minutes and start again when it has chilled.
Sprinkle the crumb topping over the muffin batter and top with a slice of banana.
Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean. Makes about 12 muffins.
Store any leftovers in the fridge and remember to warm slightly before serving.